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Starred Review.Grade 5–9—After Reynie Muldoon responds to an advertisement recruiting "gifted children looking for special opportunities," he finds himself in a world of mystery and adventure. The 11-year-old orphan is one of four children to complete a series of challenging and creative tasks, and he, Kate, Constance, and Sticky become the Mysterious Benedict Society. After being trained by Mr. Benedict and his assistants, the four travel to an isolated school where children are being trained by a criminal mastermind to participate in his schemes to take over the world. The young investigators need to use their special talents and abilities in order to discover Mr. Curtain's secrets, and their only chance to defeat him is through working together. Readers will challenge their own abilities as they work with the Society members to solve clues and put together the pieces of Mr. Curtain's plan. In spite of a variety of coincidences, Stewart's unusual characters, threatening villains, and dramatic plot twists will grab and hold readers' attention. Fans of Roald Dahl or Blue Balliett will find a familiar blend of kid power, clues, and adventure inSociety, though its length may daunt reluctant or less-secure readers. Underlying themes about the power of media messages and the value of education add to this book's appeal, and a happy ending with hints of more adventures to come make this first-time author one to remember.—Beth L. Meister, Pleasant View Elementary School, Franklin, WI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.--This text refers to theHardcoveredition.
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ISBN-10:  0316003956
ISBN-13:  978-0316003957
Author:  Trenton Lee Stewart
Publisher:  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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review by . May 27, 2010
I borrowed The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart, from the grandson of a friend. Thank you Ethan. I loved it. We'd already agreed that I like Harry Potter, but didn't discuss Lemony Snicket, another book referenced in the glowing comments on the cover. I've found I prefer Harry Potter to Lemony Snicket anyway. I like the way JK Rowling introduces hints and ideas in one book as if they're just background information, then draws them out later into vital plot points. I like the depth …
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